Month: April 2011

Say ooh ahh Leamington Spa


My best memory of being a teenager in Leamington is seeing Gransmaster Flash in Sugar, the 'cool' club in town when I was about 17. (There wasn't a lot of competition for the title of 'cool' club. In fact, there were only 2 other options, Mirage and, err, Options, both of which were shitter than I could ever describe in words. Just imagine paying an entrance fee for someone with a UTI to piss in your ears, eyes and mouth instead.)

I remember I couldn't believe it when I found out he was playing: an electro legend in Leamington, imagine that! It was a welcome change from a typical Friday night of top 40 hits, teenage girls dry-humping one another on the dancefloor in the hope of attracting the attention of a slack-jawed, nose-breathing, greasy-haired boy in a pair of Kickers, watching a fight in the street, then puking sick scented with tequila, self-loathing and small town boredom over the bandstand.

Grandmaster Flash was amazing, he got us all dancing like crazed loons, grinning from ear-to-ear and chanting 'say ooh ahh Leamington Spa'. He played for over three hours and had to be forcibly removed from the booth by security in the end.

For one night, he made me feel like I loved Leamington, rather than being desparate to get away.

I already feel guilty about being mean about Leam. It was a nice place to grow up near, but at 17 I was already a pretentious tit; I'd seen the bright lights of Birmingham and felt far too sophisticated and self-important for little old Leamington. I still grin and mutter 'ooh ahh Leamington Spa' whenever I go back to see my parents though.